Roskilde Top Five + honorable mentions

Portishead. Photo by Solveig H. Olsen
Roskilde '11 was one more brilliant experience. We missed some shows but catched other unexpected ones. An in all we saw some really good bands. I've written a few lines about my favourite shows this year and found a couple of relevant videos from Roskilde '11. My personal top five was:

1. Portishead
Such an intense and beautiful performance. During the final song Beth Gibbons left the stage to say hello to fans in the front row and she talked briefly to my girlfriend's sister, thanked her and her friends for coming and even gave her a hug. My girlfriend's sister is 18 years old and was completely blown away by the experience. Kudos Beth!

2. Iron Maiden (UK)
Man they rocked. They've been at it for over 30 years and have such an amazing interplay. To me this band represents integrity. They keep going and stay true to themselves. And they have a shitload of melodic and catchy metal tracks to choose from. I called an old friend of mine during "Blood Brothers". We saw them play the very same song at Roskilde '00. Good times.

3. James Blake (UK)
This guy is doing something unique. His sound is rooted in older genres like soul and Jamaican dub as well as newer dubstep etc., but simultaneously it sounds like the future. The show had a kind of mellow start but the music soon built up a stretched out dub feel and at times there was even a techno pulse underneath. Towards the end we could hear rolling thunder and see a lit up sky outside the tent and the rain began to pour down outside. Blake and co. re-captured our attention with a brilliant "The Wilhelm Scream". Sublime and goose-bump inducing.

4. Janélle Monae (US)
A brilliant pop concert. What a star! She has an amazing voice, charisma and stage presence, and a kick ass backing band. She played a cool selection of her own tracks along with covers of Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5. The band set-up with Monae in front had a James Brown vibe to it. She's referencing the past with a firm focus on the future. A bit like James Blake, actually. Very cool.

5. M.I.A. (UK)
Some Danish reviewers didn't fancy this show but I didn't get that. We had a great experience. Minimalistic, energetic, beat driven, edgy and full of attitude. M.I.A. was cool.

Honorable mentions:

Tame Impala (AU)
Their first show in Scandinavia. Been listening quite a lot to their 2010 debut Innerspeaker. It's a batch of good psychedelic groove rock tracks with melodic pop twists. The reviewers thought the Roskilde concert was too laid back or something. I found it to be good. Not the best of the festival, but a good show nonetheless.

Electric Wizard (UK)
played a great doom/stoner set friday at noon. It was kinda early for doom/stoner but we sat outside the tent in the sun and I couldn't help myself from air drumming along to the heavy grooves. Great stuff.

Mastodon (US)
did well early on friday evening but I was feeling kind of queasy. We sat in the back, had a bite to eat and walked around stalls while listening to them in the background. If I had been feeling better I would have been more into it. They were probably really awesome. I just needed to reload.

Swans (US)
played their dark noisy post-punk blues late friday night but since there was significant overlap between them and Portishead we only saw the last third of the Swans gig. It was a really good third though.

Hymns From Nineveh (DK)
played a beautiful set early saturday. Couldn't find a clip so here's a clip from Danish TV. The band had more members at Roskilde. Drums and bass and guitar and backing vocals and stuff as well as the people in the video below.

Kloster (DK)
My biggest regret this year is missing Kloster later the same day. It must have been good but for whatever logistical and recreational reasons we didn't make it. Bummer.

OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All)
The new crew in hip hop. Energetic, chaotic and a lot of fun. Ones to watch.

Chris Cunningham (UK)
freaked us out big time on saturday night.

I Was A King (NO)
played their blend of 60's pop and 90's rock early sunday. Really cool. Will have to get into their recorded stuff.

The Walkmen (US)
were also really cool on sunday afternoon. I'll have to check out their recorded stuff as well.

Gold Panda (UK)
Played his swooning electronica stuff for us before we headed of to see Janélle Monae. Couldn't find a video from his performance.

That's another Roskilde for ya. T'was good, t'was good indeed.
Iron Maiden. Photo by Solveig H. Olsen

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